Ralph Yarl Shooter a  MAGA Nutter, Says Grandson

‘Fear and Paranoia.’ Grandson Says Andrew Lester Bought into Conspiracies, Disinformation

Ludwig said he and his grandfather, who goes by the first name Dan, used to be very close. “But in the last five or six years or so, I feel like we’ve lost touch,” he said. “I’ve gotten older and gained my own political views, and he’s become staunchly right-wing, further down the right-wing rabbit hole as far as doing the election-denying conspiracy stuff and COVID conspiracies and disinformation, fully buying into the Fox News, OAN kind of line. I feel like it’s really further radicalized him in a lot of ways.”

Ludwig said his grandfather had been immersed in “a 24-hour news cycle of fear and paranoia.” “And then the NRA pushing the ‘stand your ground’ stuff and that you have to defend your home,” he said. “When I heard what happened, I was appalled and shocked that it transpired, but I didn’t disbelieve that it was true. The second I heard it, I was like, ‘Yeah, I could see him doing that.’”

Does he consider his grandfather a racist? “I believe that there have been some positions that he’s held that have been bigoted or sort of disparaging,” Ludwig said. “But it’s stock Fox News, conservative American stuff. It’s ‘anybody who gets an abortion is a murderer.’ And ‘fatherless Black families are the reason why crime exists in this country.’ It’s stuff everybody’s heard at the Thanksgiving table every year.”

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“I feel like a lot of people of that generation are caught up in this 24 hour news cycle of fear and paranoia perpetuated by some other news stations. And he was fully into that, sitting and watching Fox News all day, every day blaring in his living room. And I think that stuff really kind of reinforces this negative view of minority groups and leads people to be all — that doesn’t necessarily lead people to be racist, but it reinforces and galvanizes racist people. And their beliefs.”

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